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Medical

Light reflectance fine tunes prostate cancer surgery

When a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, doctors often decide to remove the gland and some of the surrounding tissue, but the procedure isn't always perfect, and in some cases either too little or too much tissue is removed. A new technique might significantly improve the accuracy of the procedure, using a reflected light technology to detect left-behind cancer cells during the surgery.Read More

Lab-grown sperm cells used to create healthy baby mice

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully created functional sperm cells from mouse stem cells in the laboratory, then implanted those cells into rodents' egg cells to produce healthy, fertile offspring. While a lot more work needs to be done before human trails could be considered, the breakthrough could be significant, with the potential to combat male infertility.Read More

Ordinary skin cells turned into brain tumor predators

The 2006 discovery that mature skin cells can be converted into stem cells opened up exciting possibilities in regenerative medicine. Now almost a decade later, the Nobel-Prize winning research of Shinya Yamanaka is still opening doors for scientists across different arms of medical research. In what it labels as a first, a team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has built on this technology to transform adult skin cells into cancer-killing stem cells that seek and destroy brain tumors.Read More

Electronic system takes the guesswork out of respiratory diagnoses

Listening to a patients' breathing is certainly a key part of diagnosing their respiratory problems. However, doctors' individual observer bias certainly comes into play, plus it can be difficult to make a diagnosis when there's a lot of background noise. That's why scientists at Hiroshima University have created an electronic system that objectively matches lung sounds to specific maladies.Read More

Bats' 24/7 immunity holds clues to tackling infectious disease

If bats were as susceptible to viruses like Ebola as humans are, then blindness would be the least of their worries. But despite serving as a natural host for more than 100 different viruses, these nocturnal mammals don't display any resulting signs of disease. Australian scientists are claiming to have now figured out why, in a revelation that potentially brings us a step closer to safeguarding the human population from Ebola and other deadly diseases.Read More

Insulin-producing mini stomachs promise patient-specific diabetes treatment

Patients with Type 1 diabetes suffer from an absence of pancreatic cells called beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. Researchers have been trying to tackle the deficiency for decades, but now it seems that significant progress may have been made – a team of scientists lead by researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have discovered that it might be possible to engineer tissue from the lower stomach to address patients' insulin needs.Read More

Preconditioned cells may help heal major bone fractures

While the body can fix small bone breaks with relative ease, more significant injuries such as large bone defects or fractures are a little more tricky, often requiring some extra help to mend. Now, scientists from KU Leuven in Germany are improving the effectiveness of treatments to deal with those more serious situations, preconditioning cells before implantation, allowing them to better deal with the often inhospitable environments at wound sites.Read More

Cancer-causing gene could help predict treatment effectiveness

Head and neck cancer is currently the sixth most common cancer on the planet, but up until now no biomarkers have been discovered to predict the response of tumors to treatment. A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, hopes to change that fact, looking to the detection of the cancer-causing gene DEK in patient plasma.Read More

3D-printed ear, bone and muscle structures come to life after implantation in mice

3D printed tissues and organs have shown real potential in addressing shortages of available donor tissue for people in need of transplants, but having them take root and survive after implantation is another matter altogether. Researchers have now taken a sizeable stride towards this future, working with a newly developed 3D printer to produce human-scale muscle structures that matured into functional tissue after being implanted into animals. Read More

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